Brewing Why Cream and Sugar is Bad For You

Why Cream and Sugar is Bad For You

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If you’re like us, you take your morning brew with lots of cream and sugar. A coffee with sweet caramel syrup is like the grownup version of sugary cereal (btw what’s your favorite cereal?), and it’s the only thing that can get us out of bed in the morning! We like to put rich, full fat cream in our coffee too, even though we know it’s probably not as good for us as whole or skim milk.

Full fat cream and sugary syrups are extremely delicious in coffee, but they add unnecessary fat, sugar, and calories to your breakfast unfortunately. If you’re trying to wean yourself off of cream and sugar like we are, then keep reading this article! Hearing about all of the negative health consequences that we might experience from loading up on cream and sugar definitely helps us cut back.

How Much Calories Are in Cream and Sugar?

The average cup of black drip coffee is only 5 calories! Can you believe it? Coffee is almost as low in calories as water!

When you start adding things to coffee, though, the calories can add up really fast.

Just one tablespoon of full fat cream is around 50 calories. So if you have two cups of coffee in the morning with just one tablespoon of cream per cup, that’s around 110 calories, yikes! That adds up fast. I don’t know about you, but we definitely put more than one tablespoon of cream in each cup!

Now let’s talk sugar! One teaspoon of sugar or one pump of syrup is about 20 calories. So if you have a coffee with one teaspoon of cream and one teaspoon of sugar, it’ll clock in at around 75 calories. Those two cups of coffee that were 110 calories just became 150 calories.

That may not sound like a lot, but if you’re trying to battle the bulge, every calorie counts! Instead of those two coffees with cream and sugar, you could eat a banana with half a tablespoon of peanut butter and drink two cups of black coffee for around the same number of calories. That might fill you up until lunch, but those two coffees with cream and sugar definitely won’t!

If you need something creamy in your morning coffee, try whole milk or half and half instead. There’s only 9 calories in one tablespoon of whole milk and 20 in a tablespoon of half and half. They’ll give your coffee that richness you’re craving without completely breaking the calorie bank.

You should try going light on the sugar, too, because consuming too much of it may increase your risk of getting diabetes.

Sugar Increases Risk of Diabetes

Experts believe that overconsumption of sugar is a major cause of weight gain and chronic diseases like diabetes. While adding a teaspoon or two to your morning cup of coffee doesn’t seem like a big deal, consider it in the overall context of your diet.

Just about everything these days has added sugar. Sugar gets added to peanut butter, ketchup, marinara, barbecue sauce, bread and even salad dressing. You name it!

The average American gets a whopping 17% of their calories from sugar! To put that in perspective, we’re only supposed to get a max of 10% of our daily calories from sugar. That’s a big difference!

Food manufacturers are adding a ton of extra sugar to their products to make them taste better and of course sell better, so we have to reduce our sugar intake in any way we can. If you don’t have time to read all of the labels at the grocery store, it might just be better to cut the obvious sources of sugar out of your diet, like the two teaspoons of sugar in your morning coffee.

Cream Packs on the Fat

Cream’s high calorie count isn’t the only reason why it’s unhealthy. Full fat heavy cream has a fat content of 36% or more depending on which brand you buy. To put that in perspective, just one tablespoon of the stuff contains 5.5 grams of fat!

Cream’s high calorie count isn’t the only reason why it’s unhealthy. Full fat heavy cream has a fat content of 36% or more depending on which brand you buy. To put that in perspective, just one tablespoon of the stuff contains 5.5 grams of fat!

Healthy fats are good for you, but sadly, most of the fat in heavy cream is saturated. Consuming too much saturated fat can cause you to develop high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day. If you have just one tablespoon of heavy cream, you’re almost halfway there!

If you can’t kick your cream habit, try to choose a lighter one like half and half, which contains 1.1 grams of saturated fat and 1.7 grams of fat in total. It’s lower in calories, much healthier for your heart, and doesn’t taste that much different!

Healthy fats are good for you, but sadly, most of the fat in heavy cream is saturated. Consuming too much saturated fat can cause you to develop high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day. If you have just one tablespoon of heavy cream, you’re almost halfway there!

If you can’t kick your cream habit, try to choose a lighter one like half and half, which contains 1.1 grams of saturated fat and 1.7 grams of fat in total. It’s lower in calories, much healthier for your heart, and doesn’t taste that much different!

Don’t Switch to Low Fat or Sugar Free Creamer

You might think that coffee creamers are a good alternative to full fat cream. They’re lower in calories and they still taste pretty rich, so they’re a great way to scratch that itch for heavy cream without packing on the pounds… right?

Coffee creamers are lower in calories, and they do taste great, but that all comes at a cost. Creamers have a lot of artificial ingredients and additives to give them a sweet, sugary taste without all the sugar and a thick, rich mouthfeel without using real cream.

Sucralose, which is the main sweetener in Splenda, is a common ingredient in coffee creamers. Sucralose is a controversial sweetener because some studies have found that it increases your risk of getting cancer. It may also harm your gut bacteria and elevate your insulin and glucose levels. If you want something sweet, definitely go with real sugar, not Splenda.

Additives like carrageenan and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils make your creamer taste richer without adding any real cream, but they have a lot of drawbacks. Carrageenan may cause digestive problems, which is not what you want out of your morning coffee! Coffee already causes digestive issues for some people, so adding a carrageenan laden creamer to it is probably not a good idea if you want to make it to work on time.

Partially hydrogenated oils bring some trans fats to the party, which raises your bad cholesterol. If you consume enough trans fats, it raises your risk of developing heart disease. Since cream is something you put in your coffee every day, it’s probably best if it doesn’t have harmful trans fats.

Even though cream and sugar pack extra calories into your coffee, they’re definitely a healthier choice than a lot of coffee creamers! If you can’t give up your cream and sugar, you can at least take comfort in the fact that you could be making worse choices.

Now that you know why cream and sugar are bad for you, are you going to cut back or make the switch to lighter alternatives? Let us know in the comments section below!

Also if you want to learn more about making coffee from people just like you, be sure to join our private Facebook group here at Daily Coffee Talk. You’ll be able to learn how to brew, how to roast and most importantly how to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee!

Why Cream and Sugar is Bad For You

Coffee Sesh

Inspiring your daily coffeesesh!

Here at coffeesesh, our goal is to educate the coffee community on ways to better enjoy their favorite cup of coffee. From roasting techniques to brewing techniques & everything in between!

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